Paint Horse Show Competitors Say Tulsa Is Favorite Stop
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Annual World Wide Paint Horse Congress wrapped up today with about 400 people from across the country in Tulsa. It's the third year in a row the event has been held here.
Competitor Wade Spell came from St. Louis with his horse.
"He's 4 years old. His name is "Quite A Machine," and we've had him since he was a year old,” competitor Wade Spell said.
Spell first came to Tulsa for a show in 1995.
“It was just an older place, colors were from like the 60s, 70s, and the barns were you know, just dated,” Spell said.
But after millions from an earlier Vision sales tax brought updates to Expo Square, show manager Karen Kennedy said she doesn't want to bring the horse show anywhere else in the country but Tulsa.
"This is the best facility in the United States,” Kennedy said.
She says the stalls for horses are impressive.
“They're very safe, they're new,” she said. “A lot of people come with really big horses - they take a middle wall out and make one giant stall for a horse."
The barn we're in right now has enough stalls to hold more than 400 horses. And soon there will be another barn built at the Tulsa County Fairgrounds that will hold about 300.
“It only makes it better,” Kennedy said.
“You know the Arabian nationals is here which is a huge, huge show, the pinto world show is here. I mean, they have some of the best world shows here."
And when the shows finish up each day, competitors are spending time and money in Green Country.
“Well, we eat a lot, going to a lot of restaurants, kids enjoy the waterparks, we go around and shop, do all that kind of stuff,” Spell said. “Dancing - and we like the nightlife here."
Kennedy says the city can count on the show to keep coming back.
“We'll be back for three more years," she said.
Construction for the barn is expected to start next year.
It's part of a $30 million project.